IN the Department of Philosophy at Harvard in 1891 were William James, Josiah Royce, George Herbert Palmer, George Santayana, and Hugo Münsterberg, a quintet of striking personalities, each differing from the other four in many convictions and opinions, while dwelling together in fraternal harmony. Apart from their distinction as scholars, every one was a literary artist. They all knew how to write, not merely with force and with what clearness is possible on such themes, but with that beauty of expression that belongs only to consummate mastery of style. And the best writer among them, although he was overshadowed by the reputation of his older colleagues, was George Santayana.
I was invited one evening to attend the regular 'experience meeting' held periodically in the nineties by the Department of Philosophy. At these small assemblies--which were analogous to confessional prayer-meetings--various teachers and students in philosophy gave in the frankest manner a history of their bringing up, and a statement of their present attitude toward life, thought, and religion. The evening it was my good fortune to be present was a red-letter occasion, for the three speakers were young Santayana, still in his twenties, a fiery evangelical preacher, and a Japanese Buddhist. It was like a world's congress of religions on a small scale. Mr. Santayana, who seemed to me the last word in culture, refinement, and suavity, gave in quiet tones, half-smiling all the while, a beautifully expressed statement of a philosophical attitude which would